Backup QBs Take Center Stage in Packers’ Win

Flynn and Adams (John Konstantaras/Getty Images)

With Seattle on the horizon and 20 players inactive, Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien led the Packers to four scores in as many possessions to key Green Bay's preseason-ending victory over Kansas City.

With most of the starting lineup given the night off, the backup quarterbacks took center stage for the Green Bay Packers in their 34-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Thursday night’s preseason finale.

On Monday, quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said he wanted Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien to “make it really hard” to determine who would be Aaron Rodgers’ primary backup. Playing without the No. 1 offensive line, receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and running back Eddie Lacy, Flynn and Tolzien did just that against the Chiefs.

In four possessions, Flynn led the Packers to two touchdowns and a field goal. He went 7-for-15 for 102 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a rating of 108.9. Tolzien had six possessions, though one started in the waning moments of the first half and another came with the offense running out the clock to end the game. In the other four possessions, Tolzien led the Packers to two touchdowns and a field goal. He went 12-of-18 for 139 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions with a rating of 126.9.

Flynn, who had a woeful 47.8 completion percentage and a passer rating of just 61.9 entering the night, started the game and led the Packers to a touchdown and a field goal on his two first-half possessions.

The Packers opened the night with a 12-play, 86-yard touchdown drive. Flynn converted a third-and-6 with a 17-yard completion to Richard Rodgers and a third-and-5 with a 6-yard scramble. On second-and-7 from the Chiefs’ 22, Flynn’s play-action fake created a void for Davante Adams, who was wide open for the touchdown.

On the second possession, Green Bay had it first-and-goal from the 5, but Derek Sherrod missed a block that resulted in a 6-yard loss by DuJuan Harris, Flynn’s fade into the end zone led Myles White out of bounds and Harris dropped a third-down checkdown that wouldn’t have gained more than a few yards. The Packers settled for a 29-yard field goal.

Tolzien, who had a 104.9 rating entering the night, played the rest of the first half. Like Flynn, Tolzien went touchdown-field goal in his opening drives. On fourth-and-3, Tolzien threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Janis. It was an excellent throw by Tolzien, with Janis having maybe only a half-step on cornerback Phillip Gaines.

On the second possession, Tolzien missed a potential long touchdown pass to Kevin Dorsey and was almost intercepted on third down, which set up Mason Crosby’s 42-yard field goal that gave Green Bay a 20-0 lead.

Green Bay’s next possession went three-and-out, and a drive starting with 35 seconds to go in the half went nowhere.

Flynn got the call to start the second half. The first drive died on fourth down, when Flynn missed Jake Stoneburner, who had broken open on a corner route. The second drive produced a 94-yard touchdown drive, with the big play being a 39-yard pass-interference penalty in which Flynn underthrew Janis, who had gotten behind the defense off of play action. Ladarius Perkins’ 22-yard run set up an 11-yard touchdown pass to Perkins, who used blocks from Garth Gerhart and Jordan McCray on a well-run screen.

Tolzien, set up by a 62-yard kickoff return by Janis, got excellent field position for his first drive of the second half. That shouldn’t take away from his touchdown drive, as he converted a third-and-16 with an 18-yard completion to Stoneburner and a third-and-4 with a 6-yard bullet to White for the score.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com, and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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